This 3 Ingredient Protein Powder Mug Cake is a moist, rich, and buttery chocolate cake that comes together in a matter of minutes. It contains no flour, no sugar, no gluten, and is low carb. It's a perfect option for breakfast, a sweet treat, or even a post-workout snack.
The high protein content in this healthy mug cake recipe will likely keep you feeling satisfied for several hours before your next meal.
This chocolate mug cake is also a great way to help meet your daily protein intake goals and keep your glucose levels steady.
If you tend to get frequent sugar cravings, this mug cake will likely knock them out and keep you mentally focused and calm as you go about your day.
What is a mug cake?
A mug cake is a quick and easy way to whip up a single-serving treat in a tall mug that cooks in the microwave. It is a great alternative to making an entire cake when you just need something quick to eat or want to make a small portion.
While mug cakes are typically considered a dessert, using protein powder instead of traditional cake mix ingredients makes this a versatile food for any meal, in addition to a healthy dessert.
What are the health benefits of eating more protein?
Protein is essential to building muscle. Around age 40, we start to lose muscle more quickly if we don't stay active and eat enough protein. Insufficient protein can lead to severe muscle loss over time, which can then lead to overall weakness, loss of stamina, and hindered mobility.
Protein from animal sources is higher in quality than plant proteins. If you do not consume animal products, make sure you get enough variety of plant proteins in your diet. This ensures you are consuming all of the essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own.
What are amino acids?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They are used to build and repair your cells. They are also critical for many other functions in your body.
How much protein should I eat in a day?
There are differing opinions on how much protein you should eat each day. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) tends to be lower than what health and wellness experts say you should consume. This is because the RDA is based on the minimum amount you should eat to avoid illness. This is different than the amount you should eat for optimal health.
A common recommendation based on health and wellness experts is to eat 0.75 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. In other words, your recommended daily intake = 0.75 grams x [your body weight in pounds].
Since getting enough protein in your diet each day can be a challenge, this 3 ingredient chocolate protein mug cake recipe can help you reach your daily protein intake goals and also satisfy your sweet tooth.
Mug Cake Ingredients
It's truly amazing how three simple ingredients are all you need to make such a delicious dessert or legitimate meal.
- Chocolate protein powder - this recipe works best with Vital Proteins Chocolate Collagen Peptides.
- Large egg - look for organic pasture-raised eggs to get the best nutrient profile.
- Butter - butter from grass-fed cows is the most nutritious. The flavor of butter balances the sweeteners often used in protein powders, such as stevia or monk fruit. It also helps to eliminate any aftertaste that is commonly associated with these sweeteners.
How to Make a 3-Ingredient Protein Powder Mug Cake
Add the butter to a large microwave-safe mug or small bowl.
Heat in the microwave for approximately 45 seconds on 30% power to soften. Avoid melting completely as this will cook the egg.
Crack an egg into the mug.
Whisk to combine the wet ingredients.
Add the protein powder.
Whisk until a smooth batter forms.
Microwave for 1 minute and 45 seconds (using a 900-watt microwave). If your microwave has a different wattage, the actual cooking time will vary. Start with 1 minute, then add additional time as needed. Your mug cake will rise quite a bit and then deflate when fully cooked.
Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
You can optionally press a few dark chocolate chips, such as Hu Gems, into the top of the cake to satisfy your chocolate cravings.
Protein Powder Swaps
This recipe has been tested with two different types of protein powders for making a quick and easy high-protein mug cake:
- Vital Proteins Chocolate Collagen Peptides - this version came out perfect.
- Orgain Organic Vegan Protein Plant Based Protein Powder (Creamy Chocolate Fudge flavor) - this one came out drier, so I had to reduce the microwave time.
Feel free to try other protein powders that you enjoy, but keep in mind the texture may not be the same and some experimentation will be required.
If your protein powder is unsweetened, add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
If you don't consume dairy, try using coconut oil or avocado oil instead of butter. Add a pinch of salt to balance out the sweetener.
- For a mint chocolate mug cake, add ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract to the batter.
- If you want to take a break from chocolate, there are many different flavors of protein powder you can use. For example, try vanilla protein powder to make a vanilla protein mug cake. You can also add some blueberries to the batter for some added color and a burst of blueberry flavor.
- If you prefer a traditional cake-like texture instead of a souffle texture, try replacing half of the protein powder with 2 tablespoons of almond flour or coconut flour.
Optional Mug Cake Batter Mix-Ins
- Drop in some raspberries to add a fruity flavor.
- Swirl in some almond butter, cashew butter, or peanut butter to make it a little creamy and salty.
- To add an even richer quality, try topping your mug cake with some sugar-free whipped cream.
- If you are eating this as a dessert, add a scoop of your favorite ice cream The So Delicious brand has some good options, including dairy-free and sugar-free ones.
- Use a tall mug so that the batter will not overflow during microwave cooking.
- Use a fork or bar whisk to ensure the protein powder is well combined with the rest of the ingredients inside the mug or bowl.
To avoid clumping, add the dry ingredients after you have combined the wet ingredients. Plant-based protein powders tend to clump more easily but keep mixing and it will become smooth.
If your mug cake has a rubbery texture, it may have been overcooked. Try reducing the microwave time by 15 seconds.
If your mug cake batter contains egg, it is not recommended to eat it raw. A raw egg may contain a bacteria called Salmonella, which can cause food poisoning.
3 Ingredient Protein Powder Mug Cake (Low-Carb)
- ¼ cup chocolate protein powder I recommend Vital Proteins Chocolate Collagen Peptides
- 2 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- Add the butter to a large microwave-safe mug or small bowl. Heat in the microwave for approximately 45 seconds on 30% power to soften. Avoid melting completely as this will cook the egg.
- Add the egg and whisk to combine the wet ingredients.
- Add the protein powder and whisk until a smooth batter forms.
- Microwave for 1 minute and 45 seconds (using a 900-watt microwave), then let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Top with a few chocolate chips, if desired.
- If your microwave has a different wattage, the actual cooking time will vary. Start with 1 minute, then add additional time as needed. Your mug cake will rise quite a bit and then deflate when fully cooked.
- If your mug cake has a rubbery texture, it may have been overcooked. Try reducing the microwave time by 15 seconds.
Since this 3-ingredient protein mug cake contains egg, make sure it is fully cooked before eating.